After an involuntary three-year hiatus, P&O Cruises’ annual barista competition at sea has returned! The competition has been a staple in the 20-year-plus partnership between Nestlé Professional and P&O Cruises Australia and was held onboard each of P&O’s three ships Pacific Adventure, Pacific Explorer and Pacific Encounter.
Six talented baristas were selected to compete from the 92 bar staff who service the ships, with their challenge to create an espresso, flat white and cappuccino for each of the of the judges using BUONDI Dark Spark roasted coffee beans – the blend used onboard P&O cruise ships.
According to Jo Yuen, Master Barista at Nestle Professional, the panel of P&O and Nestlé Professional judges observed the competitors’ technical ability, cleanliness, and self-conduct.
“We were looking for a golden-brown crema on the espresso, a full-bodied mouthfeel and a well-balanced taste,” she said, commenting that all six competitors delivered to a very high standard, showing exceptional latte art skills and superior attention to detail behind the machine.
Ultimately one winner per ship was named:
Pacific Explorer: Winner – Michelle Carandang, Runner up – Mauvin Britto
Pacific Encounter: Winner – Glenn Kurt Baring, Runner up – Justine Roi
Pacific Adventure: Winner – Gilbert Mapa, Runner up – Michelle Fernandez
Graham Willshere, Senior Manager Guest Experience – Bar Operations, Systems & Hotel Compliance at P&O said all the staff are very proud of their coffee knowledge, “Events like this with key partners such as Nestle keep our teams engaged and give them the opportunity to showcase their passion.”
Ongoing training with Nestle also ensures P&O guests never have to go without their barista style coffee while cruising.